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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 24 February 2003



H I G H L I G H T S

 

* Legislation: Invasive Species

* Legislation: Brownfields

* Briefing: Redesigning Cities

* Briefing: Mercury Contamination

 

 

LEGISLATION: INVASIVE SPECIES

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Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) this week will introduce the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act.  Invasive species cause substantial economic damage and threaten biological diversity throughout the country.  The bill focuses on prevention, screening and response, and research.  It builds on current law by establishing a timeline for new ballast water treatment standards, creating a new screening process for live organisms being imported into the country, developing a rapid-response process for when new organisms are detected, and improving the research needed to advance ballast technology and detect new species.

 

Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH), Levin, Collins, and Jack Reed (D-RI) also will introduce the National Invasive Species Council Act.  A similar bill (H.R. 266) was introduced last week in the House by Rep. Ehlers.  The bill codifies the National Invasive Species Council that was established by Executive Order in 1999.  The Council -- comprised of the secretaries of State, Commerce, Transportation, Agriculture, Health & Human Services, Interior, Defense, and Treasury and the administrators of Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. AID -- coordinates invasive species activities by developing a management plan for the federal government.

 

Contacts:  Allegra Cangelosi with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200) and Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).

 

 

LEGISLATION: BROWNFIELDS

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Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Jim Jeffords (I-VT), and Susan Collins (R-ME) this week will introduce the Brownfield Redevelopment Assistance Act.  The bill expands the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) efforts to assist communities by authorizing a $60-million grant program for targeted assistance to redevelop brownfield sites and promote eco-industrial development. The legislation also provides EDA with increased funding flexibility to help states, local communities, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations return brownfields sites to productive economic use.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).

 

 

BRIEFING: REDESIGNING CITIES

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The Senate Smart Growth Task Force on Tuesday, February 25, will host a briefing by Jonathan Barnett, author of Redesigning Cities.  The session will focus on practical solutions to the economic, transportation, and structural problems facing urban, suburban, and edge-city communities, as well as the connection between those challenges and federal legislation, including the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization.  Mr. Barnett is a professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania and a former director of urban design for New York City.

 

The February 25 briefing will begin at 1:00 pm in 236 Russell Senate Office Building.

 

Contact:  Dan Persky with Senator Levin (202/224-2683).

 

 

BRIEFING: MERCURY CONTAMINATION

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The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalitions on Friday, February 28, will host a briefing on mercury contamination and policy options to deal with it.  The session, also sponsored by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the Water Environment Federation, will feature Dr. David Krabbenhoft, a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Steven Wordelman, chair of the Water Environment Federation's Government Affairs Committee and president of Jones and Henry Engineers Ltd. of Toledo, Ohio.

 

The February 28 briefing will run from 10:15 am until 11:45 am in 340 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).